Africa's Newest Country

Updated July 24, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

What is Africa's youngest/newest country?

The Answer:

Africa's newest country is Eritrea, which is located in the East Africa. Eritrea's citizens voted on April 23-25, 1993, to become an independent rebublic.

Originally the area was controlled by the first Ethiopian kingdom of Askum and then the Ottoman Empire before the Italians took it over in 1885. The Italians named it after the Roman name for the Red Sea-Mare Erythraeum-and ruled it up until World War II. It was briefly a British controlled-colony before it was returned to Ethiopia in 1952.

The Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) helped overthrow Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991, sparking the move toward independence. Since then Eritrea has been in a border dispute with Ethiopia. Fighting broke out in May 1998 and a truce was signed in 2000, but both sides have continued to station troops at the border between the countries.

View a map of Eritrea.

Read our country profile of Eritrea to learn things like Eritrea's literacy rate, population, and what its monetary unit is called.

-The Editors

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